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  • FIRST POST
    • ruthcain1
    • By ruthcain1 7th Aug 18, 3:26 PM
    • 27Posts
    • 13Thanks
    ruthcain1
    Investment advice for person panicking about Brexit
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:26 PM
    Investment advice for person panicking about Brexit 7th Aug 18 at 3:26 PM
    I am a pretty ignorant investor who had a bit of cash to invest 3/4 years ago and just follwed some very basic advice on spreading risk etc, I believe from the telegraph. To my surprise (and probably because of underlying market conditions or luck I suspect) the value has gone up 38%. This is my current holding. I have what's now a total of about 70,000 split roughly between no 1 son's ISA (he is 15 so it matures pretty soon and is his), 23k in no.2 son's ISA (he is 11) and about 11500 in mine.

    I am on HL for ease but may change this, if there is another suitable platform for someone inexperienced like me, as I hear it's overpriced.

    As I'm increasingly panicking about my prospects post Brexit as I have chronic health issues and am only 45 but already down to part time work only, I've realised I need to sort this out.

    I have been watching other advice threads closely and note that most small investors are being advised to ditch their various funds and just consolidate into one global. Twotonealex is being advised on which one right now, I am seeing support for a Blackrock fund.

    The lowest two performing funds in my lot have consistently been the Aberdeen Latin American Equity and the Newton Asian income so I am thinking of ditching those in particular and swapping for something else but not sure where to choose.

    My thanks in advance for taking the time to help me out. Any advisors who find themselves in the depths of SW London are welcome to pm me and request a free drink or 3.
Page 3
    • dividendhero
    • By dividendhero 8th Aug 18, 7:30 PM
    • 273 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    dividendhero

    Before the days of forums, I used to post on USENET in UK.FINANCE. .
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    USENET? That's luxury - I started out posting on cave painting forums, hot debate of the time was flint or bronze the better investment?
    • poppy10
    • By poppy10 8th Aug 18, 7:42 PM
    • 6,011 Posts
    • 7,263 Thanks
    poppy10
    It actually seems my reference to fashion investing was the key thing they didn't like. Despite it being a very accurate description of what they did.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    It did come across as pretty rude to me, to be honest.

    OP had already acknowledged that they were "ignorant" when it comes to investments and that they had picked the funds out of a newspaper column. They had also indicated that they had done more research now and were looking to rationalise their various funds into one global fund, a sensible move.

    You could have just answered their question and given some advice as to which fund you'd recommend.
    Instead you criticised the investments they had made in the past and had a massive go at them for no real reason, while also managing to completely misread the comment they made about worrying about their job prospects post-Brexit.
    Totally unnecessary tbh and a shame to scare off a new user like that.

    A very very high risk spread...fashion investing... Totally unsuitable... in for one hell of a roller coaster ride ... inexperienced investor...gung ho risk level...completely wrong....That isn't how you invest....not what you should be doing....ditch them in your case because of lack of knowledge.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Last edited by poppy10; 08-08-2018 at 7:45 PM.
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 8th Aug 18, 7:49 PM
    • 687 Posts
    • 1,226 Thanks
    IanManc
    It did come across as pretty rude to me, to be honest.

    OP had already acknowledged that they were "ignorant" when it comes to investments and that they had picked the funds out of a newspaper column. They had also indicated that they had done more research now and were looking to rationalise their various funds into one global fund, a sensible move.

    You could have just answered their question and given some advice as to which fund you'd recommend.
    Instead you criticised the investments they had made in the past and had a massive go at them for no real reason, while also managing to completely misread the comment they made about worrying about their job prospects post-Brexit.
    Totally unnecessary tbh and a shame to scare off a new user like that.
    Originally posted by poppy10
    I disagree. I thought that Dunstonh and the other posters who contributed gave thoughtful, cogent, appropriate and succinct responses to the OP's points, and were met with scatter-gun accusations and complaints.
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 8th Aug 18, 8:09 PM
    • 3,365 Posts
    • 2,694 Thanks
    Alexland
    USENET? That's luxury - I started out posting on cave painting forums, hot debate of the time was flint or bronze the better investment?
    Originally posted by dividendhero
    Cave painting? Luxury! We were so poor we just bashed out heads together until we passed out.

    Alex.
    • Audaxer
    • By Audaxer 8th Aug 18, 8:46 PM
    • 1,333 Posts
    • 804 Thanks
    Audaxer
    I'm sorry that the OP has been put off by the tone of some of the advice.

    If she is still reading this thread, I would say well done for the 38% gain she has made on the portfolio. But it is also true that it is a very high risk portfolio that could lose up to 70% when the next equity crash comes along. So she made the right decision to come here for advice. My advice would therefore be to cash in on her gains by selling the funds before an equity crash and invest the proceeds in a more balanced multi asset fund to suit her risk level.
    • Zanderman
    • By Zanderman 8th Aug 18, 8:51 PM
    • 1,831 Posts
    • 4,509 Thanks
    Zanderman
    I disagree. I thought that Dunstonh and the other posters who contributed gave thoughtful, cogent, appropriate and succinct responses to the OP's points, and were met with scatter-gun accusations and complaints.
    Originally posted by IanManc
    To be fair to the OP some of the responses were a little tactless in their wording... but hey, this is an internet forum, that's to be expected. It's never going to be like a polite conversation, it will always be a little more abrupt. Doesn't mean the info's wrong though, and doesn't mean people are overly-critical or holding grudges (why would they?)..

    However I do think the OP's own responses back were unnecessarily negative, as it was clear everyone was trying to help. But some people do seem to be overly sensitive and interpret any critical advice as just critical. Perhaps this sort of forum's not for them. But we've all been stung by people's reactions to our posts now and then (I know I have!), and it is something to try and rise above (imho anyway). Life's too short to take umbrage too far.

    The OP's responses weren't helped by their method of posting multiple replies minutes apart none of which saying who they were replying to. That's an issue of forum etiquette the OP might helpfully improve on another time (sorry OP, not being critical, I'm genuinely trying to be helpful!) whether under their existing username or, as they suggest, another new name (though I'd also suggest, helpfully I hope, that that is an unnecessary over-reaction).

    A pity really, as this had the potential (still does if the OP comes back to us) to be a really interesting discussion about brexit preparation.
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 8th Aug 18, 9:13 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    I was linking the statement that followed. i.e. op says they are an ignorant investor. I then went on to show what they had was unsuitable for an inexperienced investor. Do notice how I used the term inexperienced in my response. I did not refer to them as ignorant. I actually think the use of ignorant is crude which is why I used my frequent classification which is to call them an inexperienced investor.

    We quote bits of text to make it easier to understand why we are responding as we do.

    It actually seems my reference to fashion investing was the key thing they didn't like. Despite it being a very accurate description of what they did. I don't know what the other early responders did wrong to be criticised either.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Understood. That's just how it came across to me.

    @Zanderman I think OP's multiple posts without 'back-references' were probably down to a lack of familiarity with the tools available for posting quotes with responses - some of which I still can't get to work for me.
    • Lungboy
    • By Lungboy 8th Aug 18, 9:43 PM
    • 1,502 Posts
    • 1,521 Thanks
    Lungboy
    It did come across as pretty rude to me, to be honest.

    OP had already acknowledged that they were "ignorant" when it comes to investments and that they had picked the funds out of a newspaper column. They had also indicated that they had done more research now and were looking to rationalise their various funds into one global fund, a sensible move.

    You could have just answered their question and given some advice as to which fund you'd recommend.
    Instead you criticised the investments they had made in the past and had a massive go at them for no real reason, while also managing to completely misread the comment they made about worrying about their job prospects post-Brexit.
    Totally unnecessary tbh and a shame to scare off a new user like that.
    Originally posted by poppy10
    If you don't explain where they've gone wrong then they'll never learn or understand why what's being suggested is better, and they'll be doomed to repeat their mistake again.

    Has half the thread been culled by a mod?
    • Audaxer
    • By Audaxer 8th Aug 18, 10:03 PM
    • 1,333 Posts
    • 804 Thanks
    Audaxer
    If you don't explain where they've gone wrong then they'll never learn or understand why what's being suggested is better, and they'll be doomed to repeat their mistake again.
    Originally posted by Lungboy
    She maybe made a mistake by picking a set of popular funds from a newspaper article not realising they were such high risk, but they have made a decent profit over last 4 years. She is right to be pleased about that, even although she has been lucky that the bull run has continued over that period. The bigger mistake, that I hope she doesn't now make, would be not cashing in her gains and investing in a more balanced multi asset fund.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 8th Aug 18, 10:15 PM
    • 60,040 Posts
    • 53,391 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    She maybe made a mistake by picking a set of popular funds from a newspaper article not realising they were such high risk, but they have made a decent profit over last 4 years.
    Originally posted by Audaxer
    Lindsell Train Global Equity appears defensively positioned. Arguably less exposed to a global downturn than other well known names. Who are trading at demanding p/e ratios.
    Last edited by Thrugelmir; 08-08-2018 at 10:18 PM.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • Zanderman
    • By Zanderman 8th Aug 18, 11:03 PM
    • 1,831 Posts
    • 4,509 Thanks
    Zanderman
    @Zanderman I think OP's multiple posts without 'back-references' were probably down to a lack of familiarity with the tools available for posting quotes with responses - some of which I still can't get to work for me.
    Originally posted by Terry Towelling
    Maybe, but if so just mentioning the name of the person being replied to would suffice - as you've just demonstrated.

    As for getting the quotes system to work, single quotes are easy-peasy, as you also just demonstrated.

    Multiple quotes can be tricky unless you know how though - took me a while - but now I know to click the multi-quote for anything you want quoted (nothing will seem to happen) and then, after you've finished that, click single quote on one of the posts you are quoting and you'll get a reply box populated with all those multi-quotes. That's only easy peasy when you know how.
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 9th Aug 18, 1:07 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    Some posts (some of the more abusive ones have gone missing) seem to be saying @ruthcain1's investments are wrong. Can we really say a person's investment decisions are actually 'wrong', or should we say they appear to be ill-advised due to the level of perceived risk (given the investors needs) or that they lack diversity when different commodities/areas/regions of the market can be affected differently as a result of other things that are happening in the world?

    @ruthcain1's chosen investments have given a decent return thus far. Yes, there may be other investments that have done even better and I'm sure there are plenty that have done far worse, but to suggest she was wrong and needs to learn not to make the same mistake again isn't entirely true.

    She came to the Forum having realised that the path chosen may not be ideal for her and admitting that she wasn't really sure what to do. @dunstonh pointed out her investments are probably quite good given the prospect of a hard Brexit but that there are other things she should consider given her level of experience and the amount of risk she perhaps should be taking.

    All she needs to do is consider her future (now looking uncertain) and decide how best to protect that, given the position she now finds herself in, and to fully understand the risks of following one path rather than another.

    At the end of the day, we none of us know quite how our investments will perform (with or without Brexit in the mix) and hindsight is usually the only way of measuring whether we made an appropriate decision or not.

    I hope she is still reading.
    • Prism
    • By Prism 9th Aug 18, 4:30 PM
    • 503 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    Prism
    All I will add is that the performance over the last 4 years is pretty poor, especially given the risk. I know there are fees to consider but I reckons it's about 20% down on a simple tracker and also below most active global funds. Time for some more balance
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 9th Aug 18, 4:51 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    All I will add is that the performance over the last 4 years is pretty poor, especially given the risk. I know there are fees to consider but I reckons it's about 20% down on a simple tracker and also below most active global funds. Time for some more balance
    Originally posted by Prism
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Can you hazard a guess at the performance of those funds over the next 4 years and say they will produce a similarly 'poor' result?

    Is 38% growth particularly poor? - and we don't know what level of income she received during that time (which makes a difference).

    As a matter of interest, which tracker(s) are you referring to?
    • brasso
    • By brasso 9th Aug 18, 5:10 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 857 Thanks
    brasso
    Every now and then we get these bizarre threads. It is a shame because the OP has not only completely misread the style of delivery but also misread the content.

    .......
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    to @dunstonh and the other IFAs here: you are undoubtedly knowledgeable but equally, you can, I believe, be blinkered by the inbuilt cautiousness of your profession. I also suspect there's a touch of unconscious resentment that people are seeking advice on an internet forum rather than paying you for advice. And I have to tell you, just in case no one else has mentioned this over the years () that your prose is unbelievably snooty at times. I know you apparently speak from a position high above the rest of us, but there's no need to be so supercilious.

    The OP has asked some reasonable questions and admitted not being an expert. Her investment choices are similar to those made by many people in recent years, me included, and have done well. The IFA recommendations would, I'm sure, have been relatively conservative and returned far less. I'm not going to give detailed advice beyond that which has already been posted, principally that diversification across international markets is a decent hedge against the risks of Brexit. A drop in the value of the is actually not the bad news that people assume.

    Regarding risk, I fully agree that share values can plummet but this is much more likely to affect individual shares. The worst experience I had as an investor was losing almost the entire value of my 2 bank stocks -- fortunately less than 5% in total of my investments -- back in 2008. Since then, I've stuck with diversified funds. My experience over about 20 years in total is that reputable funds/trackers/ETFs that cover many stocks and/or many markets are very unlikely indeed to plunge by 70% overnight. I'm sure people will produce examples of this happening, but on the rare occasions that I've started to see a decline based on fundamental market factors, I've been able to sell up and cement my gains. Interestingly, had I not sold up, and instead ridden it out or even increased my investment (advice often given but ignored by me), I would have done even better. But there you are, at my age I don't want to risk having to wait too long for fund values to recover.

    I hope everyone has a pleasant evening.
    ----------------------------------------

    I am not an IFA!
    • aroominyork
    • By aroominyork 9th Aug 18, 5:50 PM
    • 688 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    aroominyork
    to @dunstonh and the other IFAs here: you are undoubtedly knowledgeable but equally, you can, I believe, be blinkered by the inbuilt cautiousness of your profession. I also suspect there's a touch of unconscious resentment that people are seeking advice on an internet forum rather than paying you for advice.
    Originally posted by brasso
    brasso, if the IFAs resented people asking for free advice on the forum, why on earth would they spend hours of their time every week giving their advice/views? Do you think the unconscious element to their resentment makes them blind to what they are doing?
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 9th Aug 18, 6:12 PM
    • 95,350 Posts
    • 62,962 Thanks
    dunstonh
    you are undoubtedly knowledgeable but equally, you can, I believe, be blinkered by the inbuilt cautiousness of your profession.
    The level of risk taken by the OP was gung ho. It is very unlikely they wanted to take that level of risk. The so-called inbuilt cautiousness exists for good reason. Inexperienced DIY investors are more likely to invest above their risk profile and capacity for loss than advised investors (or experienced DIY investors). Especially, those starting after a relatively long growth period.

    Making people aware of issues and negatives does not make you cautious. That is just common sense.

    I also suspect there's a touch of unconscious resentment that people are seeking advice on an internet forum rather than paying you for advice. And I have to tell you, just in case no one else has mentioned this over the years () that your prose is unbelievably snooty at times. I know you apparently speak from a position high above the rest of us, but there's no need to be so supercilious.
    See what I mean about attaching fake emotion and assumptions to text.

    Her investment choices are similar to those made by many people in recent years, me included, and have done well.
    Just because multiple people make the same mistake does not mean it should be ignored. How do you learn anything if you prefer to remain in ignorance? Pointing out the issues allows them to learn from the mistakes and avoid them again in the future.

    And it hasn't done well. The level of risk taken, it has underperformed lower risks invested more sensibly.

    My experience over about 20 years in total is that reputable funds/trackers/ETFs that cover many stocks and/or many markets are very unlikely indeed to plunge by 70% overnight.
    But what the OP has can "plunge" by 70%. It may be that what you have is what the OP should have been looking at. Although I doubt it as the responses given indicate that any single sector funds should be avoided and only multi-asset used.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Prism
    • By Prism 9th Aug 18, 6:23 PM
    • 503 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    Prism
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Can you hazard a guess at the performance of those funds over the next 4 years and say they will produce a similarly 'poor' result?

    Is 38% growth particularly poor? - and we don't know what level of income she received during that time (which makes a difference).

    As a matter of interest, which tracker(s) are you referring to?
    Originally posted by Terry Towelling
    I think it's a good example of how an unbalanced portfolio can give poor results over any period. Compared to a balanced world tracker like fidelity world which is up 88% over 4 years or Lindsell Train GE which is one of the OPs holdings at 140%

    It is interesting that the OP thinks that their results are good too
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 9th Aug 18, 6:41 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 829 Thanks
    DairyQueen
    tI'm not going to give detailed advice beyond that which has already been posted,
    Originally posted by brasso
    I don't think you need to proclaim that you are 'not an IFA'. Why state the obvious?

    I've been able to sell up and cement my gains. Interestingly, had I not sold up, and instead ridden it out or even increased my investment (advice often given but ignored by me), I would have done even better.
    Originally posted by brasso
    So, you have discovered the investment holy grail? i.e. How to time the market? Perhaps you would care to share with us poor chumps when your crystal ball next signals that we should all convert to cash? I would be an avid subscriber to such a thread.

    Bottom line....

    I wouldn't pay an IFA (Dunston) or a solicitor (the OP) to mop my fevered brow. There's a reason Mr D is so highly regarded by this forum. Dunstan is direct and his advice is sound. That's exactly the style I like in professional advisors. Emphasis on professional.
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 9th Aug 18, 8:53 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    All good stuff that helps me to learn - I am the first to admit I'm an investing duffer, but there does appear to be a bit of a double standard in some posts. How many times do people tell us investments need to be viewed as a long-term thing - 10 years being a typical example of what is suggested. Yet here we have a thread where some posts are being openly critical after only 4 years.

    Consider also a portfolio showing 38% growth in 4 years has no points of reference other than start and finish. Yes, coupled with income, that is the point of investing, but it ignores trends within the investment timescale and any long-term plan - not that OP had a clear long-term plan when buying in.

    That 38% growth could be made up of 2 years of significant losses followed by 2 years of even more significant growth. What the next 6 years might bring is up for grabs but all we could really tell from that hypothetical example is that the entry timing was unfortunate. Yes, it might be reasonable to criticise entering a market after a long period of growth (as @dunstonh alluded in his most recent post) but then we get other posters quipping (in other threads) about 'time in the market vs timing the market'.

    I'm not necessarily defending OP's investment decisions but I am surprised by the criticisms of some given the short timescale so far.

    And finally, looking at the two examples mentioned by @prism (Fidelity world - up 88% over 4 years and Lindsell Train GE - up by 140%). If they are regarded as beacons of good growth, should any of us be buying into them now or not?
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